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June 2018

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29 June 2018

Judge: Greater equality for same-sex couples

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: On 28 June 2018, Justice Frank Seepersad in the San Fernando High Court reportedly approved a consent order between two gay former business partners and lovers, saying ''Equality of treatment before the law ought to be a cornerstone of any democratic society, but for many citizens the law deprives them of basic protection as they are denied the requisite degree of statutory protection which is afforded to heterosexual partners'' particularly in propriety and inheritance matters.
Discrimination in South Carolina: Legislature Sends Appropriations Bill with Anti-LGBTQ Provision to Governor

UNITED STATES, South Carolina: On 29 June 2018, the State Legislature was reported to have advanced an appropriations bill with an anti-LGBTQ measure allowing publicly funded adoption agencies to discriminate against a range of prospective parents, including same-sex couples, single mothers and interfaith couples. Governor Henry McMaster has been urged to veto the discriminatory provision within the larger budget.
Same Sex Couples in Costa Rica Can Now Receive Benefit of Pension in the Event of Widowhood

COSTA RICA: On 29 June 2018, it was reported that the Ministry of Work and Social Security approved payment to Roy Caldero of the pension received by his same-sex partner with whom he had lived for many years. His partner passed away in February 2016.
Alberta judge blocks parents’ bid for right to know if kids join pro-LGBT club

CANADA, Alberta: On 28 June 2018, Justice Johanna Kubik of the Alberta Court of the Queen's Bench dismissed an attempt by parents and schools to block Bill 24, a measure which makes it illegal for schools to inform parents that their children have joined LGBT clubs at school, saying that ''the public interest in promoting basic equality for staff and students of institutions supported by public funding would not be served by staying the provisions [of the Bill]''.

28 June 2018

CCJ reserves ruling in transgender appeal

GUYANA: On 27 June 2018, the five-judge Caribbean Court of Justice was reported to have reserved judgment in an appeal filed by Quincy McEwan, Seon Clarke, Joseph Fraser and Seyon Persaud, four transgender women from Guyana, who are challenging Section 153 (1) (XLVII) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, one of the country's ''archaic'' laws which makes it an offence for men or women to cross-dress in public for any ''improper purpose''.
Angola legally recognises LGBT rights lobby group in historic move

ANGOLA: On 28 June 2018, the Justice Ministry was reported to have given legal recognition to gay rights lobby group Association Iris Angola in a breakthrough for LGBT rights in the country. The group has 200 members and is the only gay rights group in the country to have legal recognition.
Gay men in Northern Ireland offered access to pardons

UNITED KINGDOM, Northern Ireland: On 28 June 2018, the Policing and Crime Bill 2015-16 to 2016-17 came into force, enabling men convicted of abolished gay sex offences in Northern Ireland to seek a pardon and have their record cleared by application to the Department of Justice. Convictions that are disregarded will be considered as never having happened and will no longer appear on criminal records and there will be no requirement to disclose abolished offences on job applications.

27 June 2018

Heterosexual couple win civil partnership case

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 27 June 2018, the Supreme Court overturned a previous judgment made by the Court of Appeal and unanimously ruled in favour of Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, finding the Civil Partnership Act 2004 - which only applies to same-sex couples - is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The judgment does not oblige government to change the law, although it does make it more likely that the government will now act.
• Judgment: R (on the application of Steinfeld and Keiden) v. Secretary of State for the International Development (in substitution for the Home Secretary and Education Secretary 2018 UKSC 32 PDF 317.30kb 27 JUN 19
Jersey to introduce same-sex marriage from 1 July

UNITED KINGDOM, Jersey: On 01 July 2018, the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law reportedly came into force, enabling same-sex couples to marry in Jersey. The notice period couples have to give before getting married increased from 15 to 25 days.

26 June 2018

Transgender woman wins pension court battle

UNITED KINGDOM, England & Wales: On 26 June 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that a person who has changed gender cannot be required to annul the marriage which he or she entered into before that change of gender in order to be entitled to receive a retirement pension at the age provided for persons of the sex which he or she has acquired. Such a condition constitutes direct discrimination based on sex.
• Judgment: MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Change of gender and retirement pension) C-451/16 HTML 26 JUN 18

25 June 2018

SCOTUS: Lower court must rehear flower shop case in light of recent gay wedding cake ruling

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 22 June 2018, the US Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari filed on behalf of Barronelle Stutzman, vacated the judgment in the Arlene's Flowers, Inc., dba Arlene's Flowers and Gifts, et al. v. Washington, et al. case and remanded the case to the Washington Supreme Court for further consideration by the lower court in light of the precendential Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm'n ruling.

22 June 2018

Oregon court denies appeal by Sweet Cakes owners who refused to serve lesbian couple

UNITED STATES, Oregon: On 22 June 2018, the Oregon Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, against the judgment in favour of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) finding them to have discriminated against Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer when they refused to make a cake for the couple in February 2013.
New Jersey Becomes Second State In Nation To Ban Underage Marriage

UNITED STATES, New Jersey: On 22 June 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Bill A3091 that bars the state from issuing marriage or civil union licenses to anyone under 18, regardless of parental or judicial consent.
Czech government backs bill on same-sex marriage

CZECHOSLOVAKIA: On 22 June 2018, the Czech government reportedly gave its backing to a bill which would allow same-sex marriage. An opposing bill, presented by 37 lawmakers, calls for a definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to be enshrined in the constitution. It is uncertain when the parliament may get to a vote on the rival bills. The Czech Republic has been allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter registered partnerships since 2006.

21 June 2018

In Ecuador, a young girl wins the right to have the surnames of both her mothers

ECUADOR: On 21 June 2018, it was reported that the Constitutional Court in a 5-3 decision recognized the right to identity of children with same-sex parents. Nicola Rothon and Helen Bicknell, two British women living in Ecuador who are in a civil union, conceived their child Satya through artificial insemination. It is customary for people to have two surnames: in the case of heterosexual couples, one last name from the paternal side and one from the maternal side, however when Rothon and Bicknell tried to register their child with both of their surnames, the Civil Registry of Ecuador refused.

19 June 2018

Pakistani court orders ID cards to transgender voters in 15 days

PAKISTAN: On 18 June 2018, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar reportedly ordered the formulation of a committee to ensure the provision of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) to transgender individuals in 15 days.
Argentina marks first hate crime conviction involving transsexual woman

ARGENTINA: On 18 June 2018, the court in Buenos Aires reportedly sentenced Gabriel David Marino, 25, to life imprisonment for killing a transsexual leader, 40-year-old Amnacay Diana Sacayan, as co-author of ''aggravated homicide due to gender violence and hatred of gender identity'', according to the ruling broadcast live by the Judicial Information Centre.
Hate group tried to argue in court that trans students threaten privacy. It didn’t go well.

UNITED STATES, PennsylvaniaOn 18 June 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit completely rejected hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)'s attempts to discriminate against transgender students in the Boyertown Area School District. This is a very significant defeat for ADF, which has been losing cases challenging transgender students' rights all across the country.
• Opinion: Joel Doe et al. v. Boyertown Area School District No 17-3313 PDF 158.12kb 18 JUN 18
Being transgender is not a mental illness, World Health Organization says

INTERNATIONAL: On 18 June 2018, the World Health Organization reportedly announced that the condition known as gender dysphoria or gender incongruance, has been reclassified as a sexual health condition and is no longer considered a mental disorder.
Judge rules against Pensacola woman in transgender discrimination suit

UNITED STATES, Florida: On 19 June 2018, Judge Edward P Nickinson was reported to have ruled against M2F Pensacola woman Nevaeh Love who claimed she was discriminated against because she is transgender when asked by event organiser Katoshia Young to move from her seat at a ladies-only, adult fundraising event featuring Royalty-N-Heelz, a male exotic performing group. The dancers purportedly ''expressed objections to performing their show, which involved some degree of disrobing and mingling with the patrons, if a person they considered to be male was to be in the audience''.
Federal Court approves class action settlement for LGBTQ Canadians

CANADA: On 19 June 2018, a Federal Court justice was reported to have approved a settlement for Canadians who were persecuted or fired due to their sexual orientation while in the Canadian Forces, RCMP and federal civil service between 1955 and 1996.
• Final Settlement Agreement: Todd Edward Ross, Martine Roy and Alida Satilic v. Her Majesty the Queen No. T-370-17 PDF 14.25MB 24 NOV 17

18 June 2018

Settlement over trans student access case in Talbot County

UNITED STATES, Maryland: On 18 June 2018, following the United States District Court for the District of Maryland's historic 12 March ruling in the M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County case, the parties have now reached a settlement for a nominal sum with costs to be separately agreed.
• Settlement Agreement: M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County No. 1:16-cv-02622-GLR PDF 195.76kb 18 JUN 18

15 June 2018

Canada's Supreme Court rules LGBT rights trump religious freedom

CANADA, British Columbia: On 15 June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of denying accreditation to Trinity Western University, a Christian law school that banned students from having extra-marital or gay sex, finding that protecting LGBT students from discrimination trumped religious freedom.
• Judgment: Trinity Western University and Brayden Volkenant v. Law Society of Upper Canada 2018 SCC 33 HTML 402.16kb 15 JUN 18
Federal judge rejects ban on transgender troops

UNITED STATES, Washington: On 15 June 2018, US District Judge Marsha Pechman rejected the Trump administration's request to ban most transgender troops from the armed forces while it appeals her order allowing them to remain, and said the president's claim that their service undermines military effectiveness has been repudiated by some of his own military leaders, saying ''Further, maintaining the injunction pending appeal advances the public’s interest in a strong national defense, as it allows skilled and qualified service members to continue to serve their country''.
Order Denying Motion to Stay Preliminary Injunction: Ryan Kanoski v. Donald J Trump No. C17-1297-MJP PDF 56.29kb 15 JUN 18

14 June 2018

Polish court rules against man who wouldn't serve LGBT group

POLAND: On 14 June 2018, the Supreme Court reportedly upheld the lower Regional Court in Lodz ruling against a print shop employee who refused to print banners for an LGBT business group because he did not want to ''promote'' the gay rights movement,. The Court found that sexual orientation, race or other features of a person cannot be the basis for refusal to offer a service, but that if the nature of the service violates the entrepreneur's freedom of conscience, it could be.
Transgender woman can change gender on birth certificate in Queensland without a divorce

AUSTRALIA, Queensland: On 14 June 2018, it was reported that the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2018 was passed by the parliament, removing restrictions requiring a person not to be married before their birth certificate was changed, to reflect their sexuality.
Bill: Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2018 PDF 257.28kb (Accessed 21 JUN 18)

08June 2018

Court upholds Phoenix anti-discrimination law over gay wedding invitations

UNITED STATES, Arizona: On 07 June 2018, the Arizona Court of Appeal upheld a Phoenix anti-discrimination law that makes it illegal for businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples because of religion. The Court sided with the City of Phoenix in a lawsuit first brought in 2016 by Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio a wedding invitation business, saying the ordinance is constitutional and does not violate freedom of religion or speech. The Court did not address the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people.
• Opinion: Brush & Nib et al. v. Phoenix 1 CA-CV 16-1602 PDF 07 JUN 18

07 June 2018

Iowa judge rules transgender women deserve surgery coverage

UNITED STATES, Iowa: On 07 June 2018, Judge Arthur Gamble in the District Court for Polk County ruled the state cannot deny transgender women Carol Ann Beal and Eerieanna Good, Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery.
Ruling on Petitions for Judicial Review: Eerie Anna Good v. Iowa Department of Human Services CVCV054956, 055470 PDF 316.56kb 06 JUN 18

06June 2018

Kerala high court orders tests to find if youth is transsexual

INDIA, Kerala: On 04 June 2018, the Kerala high court reportedly ordered psychological and medical examinations of a 25-year-old after his mother moved a habeas corpus petition saying that her son, who has been under treatment for mood disorders, has been illegally detained by a gang of transgenders and is being forced to behave like a transgender, despite there being no foolproof tests - medical or psychological ­ that can determine whether or not a person is a transgender.
New South Wales marriage laws amended to include transgender people

AUSTRALIA, New South Wales: On 06 June 2018, the NSW Parliament reportedly passed legislation changing 53 NSW Acts and Regulations, bringing NSW laws into line with the amended Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961. The government is removing a requirement that a married person divorce before they register a change of sex.
Thousands of gay Scots to be pardonedUNITED KINGDOM, Scotland: On 06 June 2018, the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill was reportedly passed by the Parliament. The bill will give an automatic formal pardon to people, both living and dead, who were convicted of historical sexual offences where the conviction was for conduct which is now legal. Anyone with a historical conviction for same-sex sexual activity that is now legal would have to apply for a formal ''disregard'' in order to prevent the information being included in disclosure checks.
Bermuda's repeal of marriage equality lasted less than a week

BERMUDA: On 06 June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled against the legislative repeal of the judgment making marriage equality for same-sex couples lawful, finding the Constitution's provisions guaranteed the freedoms of conscience and creed and upholding the right of same-sex couples' marriages to be legally recognized. Unfortunately, the Court did grant a six-week stay, so same-sex marriages will not be able to resume immediately.

05June 2018

Philippine City Passes Law Against LGBT Discrimination

PHILIPPINES: On 05 June 2018, the City of Mandaluyong was reported to have approved an ordinance prohibiting verbal or written abuse; unjust detention/involuntary confinement; denying access to facilities; and illegalizing formation of groups that incite sexual orientation, gender identity and expression discrimination in such acts as denying or limiting employment-related access; denying access to public programs or services; refusing admission, expelling or dismissing a person from educational institutions due to their SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression).
Same-sex spouses have EU residence rights, top court rules

ROMANIA: On 05 June 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of married Romanian gay man Adrian Coman's right to have his US husband Clai Hamilton live with him in Romania, saying the term ''spouse'' was gender neutral and finding that ''Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory''.
Judgment: Relu Adrian Coman, Robert Clabourn Hamilton and Anor v. Inspectoratul General pentru Imigrari, Ministerul Afacerilor Interne No. C-673/16 HTML 05 JUN 18

04June 2018

Key points from Supreme Court ruling on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

UNITED STATES, Colorado: On 04 June 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favour of Masterpiece Cakeshop finding the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's decision in favor of a gay couple who wanted a wedding cake violated constitutional rights not to base laws on ''hostility to a religion'' and was ''inconsistent with the state’s obligation of religious neutrality''.
• Opinion: Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al. No. 16-111 PDF 273.49kb 04 JUN 18

01June 2018

Hong Kong courts overturn landmark LGBT ruling

HONG KONG: On 01 June 2018, Court of Appeal overturned a landmark ruling which favored couples in same-sex marriages, ruling that the government - as not just a private employer but ''a custodian of Hong Kong's prevailing socio-moral values'' - had a duty to protect the institution of traditional marriage. The case involved question of spousal benefits afforded to same-sex married couples.

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